Friday, April 10, 2009

Stockport County visits Elland Road

With five matches remaining in the campaign, Leeds is course to promotion is a clear cut route via the playoffs. Sitting fifth in the table and well of-course for winning an automatic ticket to the Championship the Whites should be reasonably comfortable voyaging forward as Tranmere is a full six points behind.

These facts, as dry as they may be, need to be considered as Simon Grayson needs to carefully structure his side and ensure everyone is in good working order as the Whites enter the race to Wembley. Far from an endorsement of easing back on the throttle but as Leeds looks towards Saturday afternoons visit of Stockport County, they must wisely consider the health of a number of players lest lose them in the playoff round and a enter a vicious playoff mentality. This weeks demonstration against Leyton was the "perfect" example that they are nowhere near the mindset needed for a successful run as need to understand the fine art of grinding down a match.

Sam Sodje and Jermaine Beckford both missed this weeks dreadful draw to Leyton and while itching to get back into the starting eleven, this is itch best ignored. Neil Kilkenny, Richard Naylor and Robert Snodgrass overcame injuries to feature and the aforementioned mistake-prone draw and most concerning is the young Scot's foot injury. Like both Sam Sodje and Jermaine Beckford, young Mr. Snodgrass needs to be fully-fit for the hearty playoff run and Simon Grayson should juggle his lineup with Bradley Johnson in particular taking a bigger role.